the bluefin commons, japan wetlands, have you no decency sarah

japan wetlands. if i somehow i mysteriously woke up there i’d think i was in some wetlands i’ve walked through in Virginia or Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay.

I was reading this article by Ezra Klein, Bluefin Tuna and Progressivism which gets into the real possibility of the extinction of the bluefin tuna,

Knowing that there’s such a thing as “the tragedy of the commons” does not seem to be preventing us from destroying the commons. But there are a lot of examples where short-term profits undermine long-term goals. The financial industry was one of them. As Chuck Prince, head of Citibank, said, “When the music stops, in terms of liquidity, things will be complicated. But as long as the music is playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.” Doing the smart thing in the short term would have meant losing market share to other banks. There were short-term necessities that overwhelmed a sober analysis of long-term risks.

Ezra ties this in with some commentary on a libertarian’s view of liberalism or progress-ism if you like. I wish I could say that libertarian views ( which are often times identical to Conservative views) about the commons are fascinating. Not all libertarians, but most see the commons as something that must not be adjusted, tweaked or in anyway tampered with. As with pretty much all my posts this is not by way of convincing any libertarian or conservative the error of their ways. That is completely wasted effort. This is more for the hand full of people that seem to enjoy this blog and myself. So anyway, libertarians are not lying in the classic sense of telling a malicious and knowing untruth, when many of them claim not to be guided by some kind of theism. On the contrary they believe in the perfection of the unregulated commons. Even if such hands off beliefs results in tragedy of some sort – the failure of the blue-fin tuna fishery or perhaps large swaths of the economy, no matter how many people are hurt. Its all good because the all powerful, all knowing Market has deemed that such things are a necessary correction. The libertarian deity, the market has spoken. If the market is beginning to look a lot like few chapters from the Old Testament, the Koran or a cold calculating Roman god, that’s because the attitude is remarkably similar to many theistic belief systems . Well, no system is perfect, so on balance the libertarian and social-Darwinists on the Right for that matter, consider such corrections the least of possible evils that such tragedies occur even though said tragedies prove the deeply nihilistic rule of the all mighty Market. To most liberals the market is important, but believe that we should not hold it in such holy reverence that practical steps should not be taken to avoid ruining a resource forever. It is now common hyperbole, less so from libertarians then conservatives in my casual observation, that attempts to preserve species or corporations are nothing less then Nazism or Stalinism, or both. This is an off the charts historical comparison, but its funny in a way. Most libertarians and conservatives are collectivists. Assuming a truly libertarian society could stay up and running long enough, there would be a collective of producers with no competition ( no regulation against monopolies) and a collective of buyers at their mercy. Obviously buyers cannot make choices in such a society and actually businesses couldn’t either since the competition has been swallowed up.

WW II era poster salute to nurses. a little symbolic imagery that appears to be inspired from the statue of liberty.

She was close to being a heart beat away from having a finger on the button of America’s nuclear arsenal. A thought I console myself with every time President Obama acts like a Republican-lite president, Have You No Decency? Sarah Palin and her “death panels”

First, these issues are quite separate from the main issues being debated in health reform. Under a single-payer system, a strong public plan, or under a libertarian’s privatized dream-system, we will still face fundamental dilemmas in caring for our loved ones, and ourselves. This is not merely or primarily a money issue. Like other forms of care, end-of-life care is sometimes wasteful or ineffective, but nobody is looking to skimp on or ration such care to finance health reform. Nor should they.

[  ]…Second, health reform would address an equally fundamental dilemma of human dignity and human rights: millions of people’s lack of access to basic care. Many of these people are disabled or live with chronic illnesses. Over at Obsidian Wings, Publius yesterday noted the predicament of children with Down Syndrome denied health insurance because they have a preexisting condition.

Governor Palin writes: “And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled.” It’s telling that she omitted one category: Poor people, whose care is now cruelly rationed in ways the Obama administration and congressional Democrats are trying to address in health care reform.

I’ve done a little satire on public education, but while I genuinely believe we would not be the democratic and wealthy nation we are without primary public education and public universities, Mrs. Palin, Michele Bachmann and Betsy McCaughey are shining examples of how wrong I might be, at least in some cases. Mr. Pollack is probably onto something when he notices the sudden surge of bizarre exaggeration directed at Dr Ezekiel Emanuel. They could be lying, but I think that Palin, Bachmann and McCaughey have read  Emanuel’s paper on ethics and end of life decisions and genuinely do not understand what he wrote. Unfortunately for their veracity as experts, that means they have also never read the average hospital’s ethics policy or know that the good doctor is on record as being against euthanasia. Again, this a not an argument that I have delusions about winning. Its not about the facts, its about their belief in the infallibility of markets and corporations.